Thursday, September 18, 2008

Coloring Gold

One thing that you can't leave out when talking about Pirates is their treasure. Piles, heaps, and troves of gold coins, priceless gems, jewelry, and all other things of value they picked up along the way. For all ye lubbers out there, today I be showin' ye how I color me gold coins. Remember, tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate day, so brush up on yer pirate speak!

Coloring Gold
Copic makes a color, Y28 that is called Lionet Gold. At first I thought "Gold?? This isn't gold- it's kind of a muddy yellow/brown color" Then I realized that when layered with a brighter yellow, this is the perfect shade of gold-shadow. If you have a Y28 I strongly suggest you try layering it over a bunch of lighter yellows to find a nice shade of gold for yourself.

I wanted this to be a bright yellow gold, so I picked sunny Y13 as my base color. In real life this is probably way too bright, but it works for me. My image is fairly small, so rather than leave lots of highlights I know I'm going to come back with my opaque white to brighten up at the end.

Next I layer on my Y28. Pay close attention to shadows- these coins are small and close to the ground, so they get crisp but light shadows. Also, metal is reflective and leaves very crisp changes between light and dark, so my shadows on the back coin are crisp.

Last I add the flecks of white back in with my Opaque White and a fine paintbrush. Again, gold is very shiny so I can get away with lots of glints of light. You can really show how bright the gold is by covering up small specks of the top coin edge with white. I like to add light to the edge closest to the light, a point about a third of the way around, and a spot just inside the far edge of each coin (this shows a faint inner rim catching light). In hindsight, I think I still needed more white on these little coins.

How much light you add is a matter of taste, so don't feel like you have to do it just like I do. In real life the glints of light from a coin will follow your eye as you move your head, so experiment when you color. Look at a coin sitting on your table. Sometimes it helps if you squint at it so it is out of focus, then you can really see where the light is strongest without getting caught up in the coin's details (when coloring or drawing I squint often- it gives you a chance to examine an object as a whole and you don't get distracted by parts). It's also a good idea to hold your finished work at arm's length and look at it. Does it still need more light? More shadow? Ask a friend if you're not sure what it needs.

For my final piece today I drew the Pirate captain's cup, encrusted with garnets, and filled with his favorite vintage. The white glints really pick out the spots of reflective light. Image: Drawn with a 0.1 mm Copic Multiliner on color laser copier paper Extras: Opaque white .

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

WOW! Amazing!

Nicole said...

Great Post! Thanks, Ms. M!

Nancy ~ Inkcicles said...

Yer, too much for me matey! What a gem of information!!!

:-)